Sunday, 15 February 2015

A day to remember at Deception

By 8am we were approaching the entrance to Deception Island, but the entrance Neptunes Bellows, was shrouded in fog. As we motored closer the fog and haze cleared a bit and we had a safe transit into the caldera. The bridge officers kept the FRAM’s starboard (right) side near the northern cliff face and we avoided the middle of the channel, where Raven Rock waits for careless Captains. We anchored off the abandoned Norwegian whaling station near the small dry-dock that was used to lift out of the water the smaller support boats for the whaling operations.

Going ashore from the FRAM we had our first taste of today’s Deception weather. Wet and windy were the words for this landing as we had constant horizontal rain throughout our time ashore. In past years we have had cloudy and foggy weather at Port Foster but rain we had today is memorable as it was the most rainfall several of the staff had ever seen to fall and soak Earths driest-desert continent. The rain and wind did not stop six passengers from going for very short swims.

During lunch the FRAM headed eastward to Telefon Bay. The wind did not drop but the rain stopped and the skies cleared a bit. The Telefon Bay site is a relatively recent volcanic cinder ash cone surrounded by loose deposits of volcanic material ranging in size from boulders down to sand sized fragments. The only animals on the beach were a couple of fur seals. This was a rare penguin free landing.
We cleared Neptunes Bellows with no problems and headed south for tomorrows landings.